The Stadio Diego Armando Maradona is the venue where Napoli and Roma face off in Monday’s high-stakes Serie A clash. Both sides are close to reaching their goals for the season, but neither can afford to lose points in Napoli.
Napoli missed a golden opportunity to pass leaders Milan to the top last time out as Fiorentina clinched a 3-2 win in Naples. After Inter and the Rossoneri Both winning their Serie A games at the weekend, Luciano Spalletti’s men could expect to fall off the pace of the Scudetto.
Meanwhile, Roma come into the game in high spirits after beating Bodo/Glimt 4-0 in the midweek Europa Conference League. After reaching the semi-finals in the first edition of Europe’s third-tier competition, the Giallorossi will attempt to maintain their distinctive native form.
Napoli are currently five points behind Serie A leaders Milan, meaning a failed attempt to beat Roma will cost them dearly as they attempt to win the title for the first time since Diego Maradona’s glory days could come. However, the six-game H2H record in Napoli casts doubt on their winning hopes (S2, D2, L2).
However, home and away, Napoli have emerged victorious in four of their last six league games against Roma (D1, N1). therefore, the Partenopei will confidently go into the 150th edition of Serie A of the famous “Derby della Sole”, arguably the toughest test on paper in the season finale.
It’s indifferent home form, however, that has kept Napoli from storming away with La Liga, with five of their six Serie A defeats so far coming at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona. In fact, Spalletti’s men have won just once at home in their last six league games (D1, D2) while not conceding a goal in home competitions since early January.
A run of three Serie A wins at the trot means Roma are currently on a high, with fourth-placed Juventus now within reach. Juve’s stunning 1-1 draw with Bologna on Saturday will make the difference Giallorossi here the chance to reduce the gap to three points with a win.
This matchday, Roma are the only team in Serie A to have been unbeaten in their last 11 league games (7 wins, 4 losses) and have collected more points (25) than any other team in Italy’s top division in this sequence. But a lack of consistency has seen Jose Mourinho’s men alternate between wins (3) and draws (2) in their last five away games in Serie A.
A hard-fought 1-0 triumph at Sampdoria on their latest Serie A road trip gives Roma a chance to win back-to-back league away games for the first time this season. The first goal conceded could dampen those hopes as they have won just once in eight away Serie A games this season while coming from behind (1st win, 1st win, 6th loss).
Right-back Giovanni Di Lorenzo is yet to recover from a nasty knee injury, although he remains the only high-profile absentee from the Napoli camp. Substitute striker Andrea Petagna could come on the bench despite a slight hamstring problem.
Long-term absentee Leonardo Spinazzola aside, Mourinho is sweating over several key first-team games. Tammy Abraham and Lorenzo Pellegrini both took a beating against Bodo/Glimt last time out and they are in a race against time to make themselves available for this trip.
Napoli Potential Starting XI (4-3-3): David Ospina; Alessandro Zanoli, Amir Rrahmani, Kalidou Koulibaly, Faouzi Ghoulam; Fabian Ruiz, Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa, Stanislav Lobotka; Hirving Lozano, Victor Osimhen, and Lorenzo Insigne.
Roma Potential Starting XI (3-4-2-1): Rui Patricio; Gianluca Mancini, Chris Smalling, Roger Ibanez; Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Bryan Cristante, Lorenzo Pellegrini, Nicola Zalewski; Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Nicolo Zaniolo; Tammy Abraham.